Published today in Molecular Oncology (1), a report on the European Cancer Research Summit, May 03, 2021, Porto, Portugal, provides a comprehensive review covering the opening session/remarks, keynote speeches, sessions, debates, closing remarks, as well as the resulting Porto Declaration on Cancer Research.

The Summit, which was predominantly celebrated virtually due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, was held at the Porto Comprehensive Cancer Center with the support of Rui Henrique, Chairman of the Board, the Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto (IPO Porto). Focused on the implementation of the EU cancer research strategy, conversation surrounded the importance of interconnected infrastructures to strengthen cancer research across the cancer continuum in therapeutics/care, and prevention.

Incorporating five core sessions, the second was dedicated to Infrastructure for Clinical and Prevention Trials, and was chaired by VHIO’s Director, Josep Tabernero. It also counted on the participation of VHIO’s Elena Garralda, Director of VHIO’s Research Unit for Molecular Therapy of Cancer (UITM) – CaixaResearch, and Principal Investigator of our Early Clinical Drug Development Group, as well as Paolo Nuciforo, Principal Investigator of VHIO’s Molecular Oncology Group. Specifically, Paolo presented on Molecular pathology for patient stratification in multicentre clinical trials, and Elena discussed the Coordination of clinical trials activities to practice-changing clinical trials: added value compared to present treatments.

They were joined by other expert speakers including Denis Lacombe, the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (Brussels, Belgium), Emile Voest and Regina Beets-Tan, The Netherlands Cancer Institute (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Benjamin Besse, Institute Gustave-Roussy (Grand Paris, France), Vincenzo Valentini, Policlinico Gamelli (Rome, Italy), Elisabete Weiderpass, International Agency for Research on Cancer (Lyon, France), and Júlio Oliveira, IPO Porto (Porto, Portugal).

Providing comment and suggested next-step directions were the session’s debate panellists Bettina Ryll, Cancer Mission Board Member (Uppsala, Sweden), Susan Galbraith, AstraZeneca (Cambridge, UK), Fátima Cardoso, Champalimaud Clinical Center (Lisbom Portugal), and José Carlos Machado.

Reflecting on the corresponding presentations, Josep Tabernero said, This session shed light on some of the major obstacles that currently impede the adoption and cross-border participation in next-generation studies, and signposted concrete recommendations aimed at resolving some of the many challenges that lie ahead.”

“Just some of these covered the harmonization of technical requirements, improved stratification of patients driven by molecular pathology, more effective implementation of cutting-edge genomics and imaging, promotion of proof-of-concept studies towards diagnostic and therapeutic practice-changing strategies, integration of innovative radiotherapy-based and AI, and the promotion of cancer prevention trials,” added Josep, co-author of the Summit report, along with VHIO’s Amanda Wren, Head of the Director’s Office and Global Communications.

To discover more about the Summit, read about the opinions of the many other cancer specialists and cancer organisations, the discussions preceding the launch of the EU’s Cancer Mission (2), and the priorities and specific actions highlighted to deliver on the this Mission area and make the European Cancer Plan a success, please click here to access the report.

Josep Tabernero is also a Member of the EU’s Mission Assembly for Cancer.


  1. Ringborg, U., Berns, A., Celis, J.E., Heitor, M., Tabernero, J., Schüz, ., Baumann, M., Henrique, R., Aapro, M., Basu, ., Beets-Tan, R., Besse, B., Cardoso, F., Carneiro, F., van den Eede, ., Eggermont, A., Fröhling, S., Galbraith, S., Garralda, ., Hanahan, D., Hofmarcher, T., Jönsson, B., Kallioniemi, O., Kásler, M., Kondorosi, E., Korbel, J., Lacombe, D., Carlos Machado, J., Martin-Moreno, .M., Meunier, F., Nagy, P., Nuciforo, P., Oberst, ., Oliveiera, J., Papatriantafyllou, M., Ricciardi, W., Roediger, ., Ryll, B., Schilsky, R., Scocca, G., Seruca, ., Soares, M., Steindorf, K., Valentini, V., Voest, E., Weiderpass, E., Wilking, N., Wren, A. and Zitvogel, L. (2021), The Porto European Cancer Research Summit 2021. Mol Oncol.
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